Trolling Motors

There are many options when choosing between trolling motors that will enhance enjoyment and results when fishing. Things to consider include:
  • Understand the best applications for gasoline and electric motors
  • Matching the power of your new motor to the size of your boat,
  • Decide when, how, and then how often you might want to troll.
  • Understand the newest electronic options
74 lb thrust motor
74 Pound Thrust

There are many uses for one of these motors on your boat:  Running constantly at a slow speed for a slow presentation of an artificial lure or live bait;  using your trolling motor intermittently to move from one spot to another searching for schools of fish;  more recently, using your motor as an anchor to keep you in one spot - or using your electronics linked to your electric motor to follow the contour of a body of water and stay at a specific depth.

Kicker Motors - Gasoline Powered

9.9 HP Kicker Motor
9.9 Kicker

How often do you plan to troll for fish by trailing lures or live bait often used for walleye, white bass, stripers, and other species.  Also is good when fishing a new lake to identify bottom structure or where fish are located.  Gasoline powered kicker motors are ideal for this.

If your main outboard motor is 100 HP or higher there are advantages to having a small gasoline motor for trolling sometimes called a "Kicker" motor.  For reduced gas consumption and noise reduction the small 9-15 horse power gasoline "Kicker" motor is better suited.  Adding a "Kicker Motor" is an additional cost but if you can afford it is a nice addition.  Our last Canada trip this came in handy as we damaged our main motor and were able to use the 9.9 HP 4 stroke Mercury Kicker motor to get back home.  

Electric Trolling Motors

Transom Mount Trolling Motor
Transom Mount Motor

Three main things to remember when shopping for an electric motor:  Size of your boat, where you are able to mount your trolling motor, and how you will likely use your electric motor the most.  Secondly, power of thrust and cost.  75 - 80 pound thrust works well on a 20-21 foot aluminum V Body walleye boat.  Your dealer will help you decide if uncertain.  Cost is more for more powerful motors.  Additionally cost will be more based on the motor configuration and what it will do.  For example, here are some choices and going down this list gets more expensive:

  • Transom Mount
  • Bow Mount Hand Stowable
  • Bow Mount Electric Stowable
  • Bow Mount Remote Control
  • Bow Mount GPS Remote Control

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Transom Mount Motor

Transom mount motors sometimes are the only type of trolling motor that will easily fit on certain boats.  These are perfect for use in a rented boat or on smaller lakes and ponds with smaller boats as the sole motor on board.  You may have to carry with you a portable power supply.

Bow Mount Hand Stowable

This simply means that the motor is mounted on the bow and is placed into and pulled out of the water by hand.  This Ultrex bow mount motor has a power assisted direct drive controller that is smooth as silk to operate.   In addition as you can see in photo it comes with a hand held remote control.  Featuring an anchor button that will GPS link you to within about a 5 foot radius on the water so you can fish out a specific area without worrying about control of the boat.  Also with a quick tap on the hand control you can move a few feet and anchor again.  Most of of these newer trolling motors can also hook up to your depth finder and follow specific paths on the water, for example follow a specific depth contour.   With its spring assisted deployment system Ultrex is easy to deploy and stow.

Remote Control Trolling Motor Remote Control

Electric Stowable, Remote GPS Control

Recently manufacturers have added additional features for added comfort and convenience.  One such feature is the ability to deploy and stow your motor electronically - which is great especially if you have a sore back or are in the boat by yourself.  This Minn Kota Ulterra motor does just this.  Electronic digital control make this easy to use.  The  remote control helps you to keep your focus on fishing more and allows you to control the trolling motor from anywhere in the boat.  By hitting the anchor button links you via GPS to hover over a specific fishing hole using the trolling motor. (This means with a 5 radius) and/or following a per-determined path, or keeping you along a specific depth of contour when linked to your depth finder/sonar, like a Humminbird.  These are all wonderful additions.

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